Parents say teen lives on through organ donations - KMSP-TV

Parents say teen lives on through organ donations

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Ashley Howard died after a tubing accident on Lake Lanier three years ago. Ashley Howard died after a tubing accident on Lake Lanier three years ago.
CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. -

What started as a horrible tragedy involving the death of a 15-year-old has given life to four other people.

Ashley Howard died after a tubing accident on Lake Lanier three years ago, but now, her parents find hope and purpose in talking about their daughter's decision to be an organ donor.

A pontoon boat ran into Ashley as she was tubing on the lake back in 2010. She died four days later at Grady Hospital.  Ashley's parents said that her story didn't end there.

"Her story continues. She is alive through the lives of other people,' said Christi Howard, Ashley's mother.

Ashley had signed up to be an organ donor when she got her learner's permit and their parents quickly gave their consent.

A 9-year-old girl in Indiana received Ashley's heart, two Georgia women received her kidneys and a man received her liver.

"It gives you hope, you know her death wasn't in vain because there's four people out there, four families out there that didn't have to experience that we had to experience," said Terry Howard, Ashley's father.

The Howards even sent letters to all the organ recipients because they didn't want them feeling bad about it.

"We just wanted them to know we were not bitter about it at all, that it was a great blessing to us," said Christi Howard.

This week, Ashley would have graduated from high school.

"The little girl who received her heart, they might be able to see their daughter graduate from high school one day," said Christi Howard.

"Now her parents have a child that has made it and it's because of Ashley. Her heart beats on in this world," said Terry Howard.

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